Employment Security Law Changes — Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Due to Hurricane Florence our customer call center is experiencing heavier than usual call volume. If you are interested in filing a Disaster Unemployment Assistance claim, please note that you must first file a regular unemployment insurance claim. Simply click the sign up button in the upper right-hand corner of the website. This will begin the process and save you time without having to contact our customer call center. All other Disaster Unemployment Insurance questions can be answered in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below, or by calling 866-795-8877.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Forms
What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)?
DUA is a federal program that provides temporary payments to people in a federally declared disaster area whose employment or income has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the disaster. DES determines if claims filed under the program are valid and makes payments to those who qualify. Funds for DUA come from the federal government.

What makes me eligible for DUA?
Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:
  • Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits. If you are eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits, you must first exhaust those benefits before you are eligible for DUA.
  • Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
  • Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death of the previous major supplier of household income.
  • Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented from doing so by the disaster.

Can I receive DUA if I am self-employed?
If you live in or get most of your income from areas affected by the disaster, you may qualify.

Would I qualify as a self-employed farmer or commercial fisherman?
If you live in or get most of your income from areas affected by the disaster, you may qualify.

Can I earn income and still collect DUA as a self-employed farmer or commercial fisherman?
Yes, in some situations. For example, farmers who are involved in more than one aspect of farming, such as dairy and crops, may qualify for partial DUA payments.

Can I clean or salvage my business or farm while collecting DUA?
Yes. Salvaging or other limited self-employment activity alone will not necessarily make you ineligible for DUA.

How do I apply for DUA?
  1. Apply online for regular unemployment insurance
  2. If you are determined by DES not to be eligible for regular unemployment insurance, you should call the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) hotline.
  3. The DUA hotline number will be available on our website once approved counties are determined.
How long do I have to apply for DUA?
An application for DUA must be filed within thirty (30) days after the date that the Division of Employment Security announces availability for the State of North Carolina.

What do I need to apply for DUA?
To apply, you should have the following information ready and available:
  • Your social security number.
  • Your mailing address and zip code.
  • A telephone number where you can be reached for additional information.
  • Your NC driver's license or motor vehicle ID card number, if you have one.
  • Your alien registration card number, if you have one.
  • The names and addresses of all employers you worked for within the last 18 months, including those in other states.
  • Any check stubs or other proof of earnings for employment you have had within the last 18 months.
  • If self-employed, your most recent federal income tax returns and/or your profit and loss statement.
  • For farmers and commercial fisherman, your federal income tax returns.
If you lost these records in the disaster, you should apply anyway and inform DES when you apply.

Can I apply for other disaster benefits if I apply for DUA?
Yes. You can apply for any other disaster benefits besides DUA.

How do I claim weekly DUA benefits?
The Weekly Request for Assistance (Form ETA 83) must be submitted for each week. These forms are mailed to you after your claim has been processed and approved.

How long can I collect DUA benefits?
The maximum amount of time allowed depends on the federally declared disaster period. Normally, the disaster period lasts up to six months. The federally declared disaster period begins on the Sunday after the date of the major disaster and ends 26 weeks after the date that the disaster was declared by the President.

How are DUA benefits calculated?
The DUA weekly benefit amount is computed in the same way that the State computes weekly benefit amounts for regular unemployment benefits. Wages paid by liable and non-liable employers for UI are used in calculating the weekly benefit amount.

Do I have to claim each week that I am unemployed in order to get payments?
Yes. If you are qualified, you need to claim benefits each week in order to get payments. Your eligibility for DUA will be determined on a weekly basis. You must continue to be unemployed and your unemployment must continue to be as a direct result of the disaster.

If I qualify or am eligible, how will I get DUA benefits?
Your weekly benefits will be paid by check and mailed to your address on file with DES.

As an employer, will my account be charged if my worker collects DUA?
No. DUA is not charged to your account if your workers collect benefits.

Where can I get more information about DUA?
Once the President of the United States declares a disaster, DES will establish a hotline telephone number and email address for affected workers. This information will be widely publicized to inform the public. Employers can call the employer call center for general information.

If I exhaust regular UI can I apply for DUA?
Yes. If you filed a regular UI claim as a result of a disaster and the disaster period is still in effect, you can apply for DUA once your regular unemployment benefits are exhausted.

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